Vietnam Airlines flights now avoid airspace near Taiwan


  • Vietnam Airlines Getty
    Vietnamese airlines

    IATA/ICAO code:

    Airline type:
    Full service carrier

    Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi), Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)

    Year of foundation:


    Lê Hồng Hà


Vietnam Airlines chose to avoid airspace near the Taiwan Strait following China’s decision to conduct live fire near the territory. Vietnamese authorities ordered all carriers to avoid the area following a notice from China to all airlines in Asia on Wednesday. Political tensions in the region have been high since Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan this week.

Flight routes to assign

In response to government orders, Vietnam Airlines is temporarily rerouting flights to or through Northeast Asia, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, as well as US traffic that might generally fly over the region. The new routes came into effect on August 4 and will likely remain so as long as China continues its military operations, according to the Times of India.


Notably, today’s service from Taipei Airport to Hanoi took the usual route across the Taiwan Strait, meaning changes could come into effect later this evening. Flights from the west coast due to land later at night could also deviate slightly as exercises begin in the final hours. In total, up to 36 routes will be affected by the changes, with variable weather added.

Vietnam Airlines estimates that nearly 36 routes will be affected by the airspace restrictions. Photo: Airbus

More Asian carriers are likely to follow the advice and avoid the Taiwan Strait in the coming days as military tensions are high and rare live-fire missions take place. According to Aerotime Hub, authorities in China, such as Fujian near Taiwan, have already started cutting flights in recent days ahead of upcoming operations.

Response to the arrival of the President

China’s warning to the countries comes as it responds to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island on Tuesday evening. The trip came after days of doubt over his possible execution and amid Chinese threats of military escalation in response to the US decision. While President Pelosi arrived safely and departed the following day, China has planned a series of military exercises in Taiwanese air and sea space, including with live missiles and ammunition according to some reports.

Given the growing threat, airlines have opted to move flights out of Taiwan for security reasons until the situation returns to relative calm. The Taiwan Strait is 180km wide and shouldn’t cause too much extra time for most flights except some operating direct from or Taipei, but further escalation could also affect parts of the South China Sea. southern.

China does not recognize Taiwan as an individual country but rather as a breakaway province. Photo: Getty Images

It is unclear how long the current military exercises in Taiwan last and what impact they might have in the long term. China has called the latest mission a rehearsal of the island’s “reunification” with mainland China and includes some operations directly in the autonomous island’s territorial waters.

Airlines avoid airspace

EVA Airways and China Airlines, Taiwan’s two largest, will likely develop new flight plans for routes to Asia and Europe in response to the current threat to the island. For now, the restrictions will remain, but the question is how long and how far they will go.

What do you think of Vietnam’s decision to restrict flights? Let us know in the comments.

Source: India time, Hub AeroTime, AlJazeera


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